Jay Z has won a $7m (£5.3m) lawsuit over the Roc-A-Fella logo against Dwayne Walker. Dwayne Walker, a New York-based designer, claimed to have created it for the music mogul's record label and accused the rapper of breach of contract and copyright infringement and demanded royalties for its use. However, in a 32-page decision, the judge found a lack of evidence that the contract even existed. The decision was made by US district judge Andrew Carter in Manhattan.
Judge Carter ruled that Dwayne Walker wasn't entitled to royalties under a contract reportedly signed by Roc-A-Fella co-founder, Damon "Dame" Dash. The designer claimed in the case, which was first filed in July 2012, that he designed the artwork in 1995. He alleged that the vinyl record logo became the basis for the Roc-A-Fella design. However, Jay Z, Damon Dash, Roc-A-Fella and its parent Universal Music Group Inc (a unit of France's Vivendi SA) said that the logo was designed by an in-house art director. Judge Carter said Dwayne Walker's testimony was "not enough" and that he'd waited too long to sue, five years rather than three. He said only two people other than Mr Walker claimed to have seen the contract and their testimony wasn't strong enough to be used. "This leaves only plaintiff's own self-serving testimony that he drafted the contract, that he and Dash signed it, and that he lost track of it in 1998. This testimony alone is not enoug," the judge wrote.
Mr Walker has however said that he plans to appeal against the decision, says his lawyer Gregory Berry. The logo includes a superimposed "R" and has been used on items which have made hundreds of millions of dollars for Roc-A-Fella.